Wyoming Football: News and Notes Ahead of Texas
LARAMIE -- "This is the best Texas football team I've seen."
Those were the first words to come out of Craig Bohl's mouth Monday when discussing the Cowboys next opponent.
Wyoming's head coach would know, too.
As a member of the defensive staffs at Nebraska and Rice, Bohl has faced the Longhorns 10 times. He's been on the winning side just once. That's when his 1999 team avenged a road loss in Austin -- the Huskers only setback during the regular season -- knocking off Mack Brown's squad 22-6 in the Big XII Championship game.
"I have great respect -- I don't like Texas, I don't -- but, you know, it's a great program and they are playing at a really high level."
Texas, the proud new owner of a No. 4 ranking in the AP polls, impressed last Saturday night in Tuscaloosa, running away from Alabama with 21 fourth-quarter points in a 34-24 victory. Quinn Ewers completed 24-of-38 throws for 349 yards and three touchdowns in the upset.
"He's the real deal," Bohl said, referring to the 'Horns 6-foot-2, 195-pound signal caller. "I mean, he's as good as advertised."
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Bohl compared this matchup to when the Cowboys traveled to Eugene in 2014 to take on the No. 2 Oregon Ducks. That team featured future Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota under center. They also went on to face Ohio State in the national championship game.
Wyoming fell in that one, 48-14.
"They've got weapons everywhere," Bohl said of UT. "They're big, strong and they run well. It's going to be a real test."
The Pokes and Longhorns are slated to meet Saturday night inside Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. Mountain Time and the game will be televised on the Longhorn Network.
Here are some other news and notes from Bohl's weekly press conference:
* Harrison Waylee is not only expected to play in Austin, Bohl said he anticipates the junior running back "playing a pretty significant role" in this one. Waylee missed training camp this fall, recovering from what Bohl called "knee reconstruction." The Northern Illinois transfer rushed for nearly 2,000 yards during his three seasons in DeKalb. Read about Waylee right HERE.
* Relax, Andrew Peasley is fine. In Fact, Bohl said the super senior QB is feeling "pretty good" and coming off the best game during his tenure in Laramie. "I look at his decisions and he was mobile," he said of Peasley who finished the day 11-of-16 for 201 yards and three touchdowns. "He threw the ball. He was on point and he read coverages well. He did not put the ball in harm's way. He played really well and it was good to see because, you know, one of the things we're trying to do is improve in the passing game." Peasley did not play in the fourth quarter of the Cowboys 31-17 win last Saturday over Portland State. Bohl instead inserted back-up Evan Svoboda. "We're looking at different things," he said postgame. "It was good to get Evan some work."
* Wyoming features 22 players from the Lone Star State. Do Bohl and Co. need to keep things as normal as possible this week to temper emotions? "You know, there's give and take with that," he said. "Some of the guys maybe have dreamt about playing for Texas and other guys, that never even crossed their mind because it didn't feel like they could get in that realm. So, trying to convince some of the guys, 'hey, you belong on this field' and then other guys maybe to calm them down."
* Kaden Anderson, a true freshman quarterback on the Cowboys roster, will not play this Saturday night in Austin. He is still recovering from a torn ACL, the second serious knee injury during his high school career. Anderson could be helpful though. While playing at Southlake Carroll, he served as Ewers' back-up, eventually replacing the top recruit in the country when he initially signed with Ohio State. Anderson knows Ewers. safety Isaac White and defensive tackle Ben Florentine said they might bend their QB's ear for some tidbits this week. Read Anderson's story right HERE.
* Texas is a plus-5 in turnover margin through two games. Wyoming has lost three fumbles and thrown a pick in that time frame. That, obviously, needs to be cleaned up if the Cowboys have a chance Saturday night, Bohl said. "I think we're going to need to flip that around and be like, plus-three in the game," he added.
* What did Bohl learn from the PSU film? He liked the passing game. He was impressed with the way his defense took the QB run away, holding Dante Chachere to just five yards on 17 carries. They also sacked him four times and registered nine tackles for loss. He raved about placekicker John Hoyland, who drilled his second 56-yard field goal of the young season. What did he not like? "I think we need to run the ball better than what we did. It was not as effective," Bohl said. "We need to be able to finish off a game, knowing the other team knows that we're going to run the football. So, that's going to be a great learning experience for us and gives us outstanding things to see on the tape. Defensively, we have to get off the field on third down. I think one drive was 19 plays. I think they threw the ball and caught the ball better than what we thought they would." The Vikings were 11-of-20 on third down, completed 23 balls for 254 yards and a touchdown in the passing game and held the Cowboys to just 4.4 yards per carry.
* "Yeah, we've been scratching our heads on that," Bohl said when asked where he intends to begin to slow down this UT offense. The 'Horns average 324.5 yards per game through the air. That might be a great place to start. "They have so many weapons, you know, we've got to be able to take the quarterback out of his comfort zone and try to put some pressure on him," he said. "Like I said, they take great shots. and they have receivers that can stretch the field." Consider this: Former UW wide receiver Isaiah Neyor has just one catch for 14 yards. That's how deep the wideout room is in Austin.
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